Saturday, September 20, 2014

Its the most wonderful time of the year.

….well maybe the third most wonderful time of the year.

 I love when the first chill of fall begins to creep in to my dreams and ebb out again into early morning air.  Leaves that are not yet turning color begin to sigh down to the sun-hot pavement that has yet to pick up cues of season’s change.  Bright airy sundresses and barely-there sandals are replaced by cozy cable-knit sweaters and knee-high boots in shop windows, and the squirrels rush 'round gathering provisions.
I am drawn to songs like this onethis one, and especially this one, which all mark the passing of summer and the emerging crisp melancholy of autumn.
This time of year is also perfect camping weather where I live.  Looking forward to my first camping trip since the chilly June nights I spent on the North shore of Lake Superior, my mind wanders up to the mountains and away from the city, and I find myself instantly refreshed by the thought of outdoor living.   I even love the preparation of packing the car, driving through the winding mountain roads, stopping for apples at my favorite orchard, arriving at a shady campsite and even setting up the tent. 
Most people would find my camp activities boring, but I love falling asleep in the hammock while reading the same chapter over, and over, and over, taking a wandering walk down to the lake to watch the sun set, making a simple dinner and playing dominoes.  Hypnotized by the flames and dying glow of a campfire I will crawl into a tent smelling of smoke and citronella.  I love waking that first morning to the silent, un-cracked egg of dawn, suddenly broken by the first and inexplicably loud ZZZZZZZZZZIP of a neighbor’s tent.  No distractions, no worries, and no electricity, my phone dies while I recharge.

A few finds for your next camping trip:
I have had my hammock for years and take it everywhere, but I’m happy to see that there is now a fair trade option for lightweight travel hammocks, made by Soco Hammocks.  Straps and carabineers are also available.

Just seeing the stripes of a Hudson Bay blanket sparks something like a flashback in me, but it is not a memory of what has happened, rather an instinct about what should happen.  Hudson Bay blankets are meant for wrapping around oneself on a cold morning while you drink coffee on the porch of a lake house.  That idea is so vivid in my mind it must already be in a movie, right? They may be more suited to cabin life than camp life, but this one is lovely, woven from Peruvian Alpaca wool and available through SanYork Fair Trade.

My personal choice for camp dishware is something that collapses, nests and fits snugly into my pack, but if you’re car-camping or glamping this orange bird enamelware set would be charming.  Available in the UK from Fairwind. 

Ten Thousand Villages offers two citronella candles as well as a citronella incense set.  This nice-smelling little candle contains neem oil, neem extract, citronella oil, eucalyptus oil and basil oil to combat thirsty mosquitos.
I may not need another fleece, (ahem, 5 of them, 2 of which are identical) but I think this organic pima cotton one from Fair Indigo is lovely in burgundy, and available at a lovely price.

*All images provided by product's website unless noted.

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